How can we make farming more sustainable? This question has been on the minds of many people in Armenia. One farmer, Gnel Mkhitaryan, is using organic agriculture to achieve sustainability and success. He’s not alone though; he’s part of the Organic Agriculture Support Initiative (OASI) program implemented with EU support. With this help, he’s had the opportunity to develop his skills and expand his work throughout Armenia.
Gnel Mkhitaryan has witnessed a change in the way farming was being done. And so he decided to adopt an approach that might work- expanding varieties of seeds sown, growing high-value vegetables on small plots of land, and using technologies with effective microorganisms and marginal sowing.
Gnel, an Armenian farmer, always dreamed of being the first person to introduce new plants to his country. So he started applying this approach to his agricultural activities in 2003, growing almost 50 kinds of plants over the years that had never been tried in Armenia before or were only produced in experimental conditions.
The unexpected results of this farmer’s experiment were nothing short of amazing.
“I can say that the results were unexpected, considering that we had started to grow plants that weren’t typical for the natural climatic conditions of our country, like artichokes, leek, fennel, and groundcherries.”
Gnel emphasizes the importance of overcoming the stereotype that it is not possible to grow such plants in Armenia. He sees his work as being an essential part of organic agriculture, which replenishes the environment and the nutritional value of soil.
The farmer said that the EU’s support helped him secure the integrity of his value chain. He also noted that it helped him build a greenhouse and grow plants inside. The farmer explained the importance of the EU’s support for his work, stating that it has “been tremendously important” and that it helped him reach the worldwide market.